Bid to remove statue from State House grounds

Justice behind controversial Dred Scott decision
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 18:27:55-04
The statue prompts a crash course in history outside the Maryland State House.
"Dred Scott was a slave. He was not a citizen, and so he said, 'You're not a citizen. You can't even be here,'" says Guide Alice Tennies as her tour group passes a statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.
He was the man behind one of the most controversial decisions ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, yet Tennies says Taney has become a symbol of the nation's racist past, he was anything, but.
"Last week I was doing a Black History tour. So the whole group was black, and I was talking to them about Roger Taney and explained how he had freed the slaves that he inherited and  how he had spoken against slavery and defended a minister, etcetera, that he wasn't in favor of slavery,” said Tennies. “and one woman said to me, 'Well, why don't they put all that here?  Why isn't that explained here?"
But there's no guarantee that the bronze statue of Taney will remain here for long.
Suggesting it may glorify the darkest chapters in our history, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says removing it from the State House grounds is the right thing to do.
"That's really up to the Government House of Trust,” said Hogan, “We have a meeting tomorrow, and we're going to have to convince Senate President Miller, first of all, to vote with us.  The Speaker and I are in agreement, but we have to get the vote of the Trust.  That's who makes the decision."
For some students of history like Tennies, it's a bitter pill to swallow.
"I'm disappointed, because it's a great lesson for kids to learn more about what's behind everything and about what the Constitution says,” said Tennies, “Yes.  So I'm very disappointed.  I hate to see it go."
But others say as long as it's not destroyed or forgotten, there may be a better way.
"If it's going to hurt people's feelings. Yes. Take them down,” said Sheila Thompson, a tourist from Pittsburgh visiting Maryland’s capitol. “But put them in a place where they can be preserved and that history can be taught to the children and it's not lost."
According to historians, a little less known fact about Taney is that he worked as a lawyer alongside Francis Scott Key, married Key's sister and later played a key role in promoting "The Star-Spangled Banner", which would later become the national anthem.